Among the bank statements, tax returns and other documents people in Minnesota may gather in preparation for divorce, they might be surprised to learn that a calendar can be useful as well. If they are parents, the calendar can help them reconstruct scheduling, activities and expenses over the past year. The calendar can also provide information about lifestyle during the marriage, which can be used in calculating spousal support payments.
Examples of expenses parents often forget about and that can be retrieved by looking at the calendar include the costs of traveling out of town for children’s sporting events and the cost of gifts for the birthday parties that children attend. Parents might also be reminded of when they took children to therapists or doctors. The calendar might provide some insight into how much time each parent spends with the children, which is also relevant for custody and support.
If there is a disagreement about expenses, the calendar might help settle it. One problem people might run into when trying to determine spousal support is that while they can remember major expenditures and events, such as vacations, they may forget smaller outings or how often they went out to dinner.
Parents can sometimes reach a child custody agreement without going to court. However, if they are not able to decide outside of court, they may need to go to litigation and present a case for getting custody. A judge will make a decision that is in the best interests of the child. This involves taking a number of factors into consideration, including who is the child’s primary caregiver. The judge will usually try to ensure that the child has time with both parents unless there are concerns about the child’s safety. This could mean one parent only has supervised visitation.